Wasting tax dollars on ethanol

The GAfuels Blog is written by two private pilots concerned about the future availability of fuels for piston-engine aircraft: Dean Billing, Sisters, Ore., an expert on autogas and ethanol, and Kent Misegades, Cary, N.C., an aerospace engineer and aviation journalist.

You know that your political agenda is in trouble when the Tea Party movement agrees with MoveOn, and conservative Senator Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) agrees with former Vice President and environmental activist Al Gore. This is the situation that the ethanol lobby now faces in Washington, with the 45 cent a gallon ethanol credit set to expire at the end of the year.

Despite a massive campaign from Growth Energy, the industry’s deep pocketed lobby, chances for an extension to the credit appear doubtful, according to a recent article in the Washington Post.

Even worse news for the ethanol industry is a report from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) that taxpayers are now compelled to subsidize ethanol at $1.78 for each energy-equivalent gallon of gasoline it replaces, says the article.

Gone unnoticed by the press, but not by consumers, is the rising cost of gasoline at the pumps, due in part to recent increases in the cost of ethanol to stations.

The Washington Post article also recommended reconsideration of the entire ethanol production mandates, something your bloggers have been urging for months.  One wonders when the aviation alphabets will chime in? After all, ethanol’s presence in gasoline contaminates the only other FAA-approved aviation fuel for piston engine aircraft that is available in the U.S. Might one explanation be that one of Growth Energy’s leading sponsors, ethanol plant builder Fagen Inc. of Granite Falls, Minn., is also a very visible exhibitor at the EAA’s annual AirVenture convention in Oshkosh, where Fagen’s bright red, ethanol-blend-powered MX-2 is on display on the ground and in the air?


  1. says

    Jim DeMint and Al Gore? I read the full article to see how you put that one together. You never touched on it. Are you trying to stir up trouble? I think Jim would take serious issue with your thowing his name around like that. Maybe he will sue you for slander. I don’t believe in sueing, but in this case I think I would make an exception. You should be more careful with how you throw around someones reputation.

  2. Jonathan Oaks says

    The farm subsidies, including the enthanol subsidies, are simply a payoff to farmers. Not just any farmers, but the big corporate farmers. The small, family-owned farms don’t get much of a piece of the action because they can’t afford the lobbyists. It’s time not only to get rid of the politically correct nonsense of ethanol, but the entire farm subsidy crapola. I’ll be contacting my representatives–let’s see if we can’t at least stop supporting ethanol.

    BTW, if ethanol is such a wonderful idea, why don’t we let the market decide if it wants to buy? Oh, never mind, that would be capitalism, a dirty word with the liberal crowd.

  3. says

    Burton, they all are opposed to continued subsidies for ethanol. MoveOn – I believe – still supports so-called renewable energy sources, but not corn-based ethanol. Sadly, some major TP supporters in major corn-producing states bend when it come this subject. We’re not categorically opposed to ethanol, just believe it should have to compete in a free market devoid of government support. Same for all fuels, really. Free markets are generally quite good at determining the best winner(s), giving consumers the best, most affordable choices. Bureaucrats often think otherwise, knowing everything better…

  4. Steve says

    Ethanol has always been a con, a rip-off, and a boondoggle to put it politely. It is nothing more than an attempt to take money away from the tax payer and give it to large corporations that are cash-flush enough to pay for lobbyists and pay off politicians. Ethanol costs more, is more difficult to handle and ship, increases fuel consumption, and raises the cost of food. With all this there is only one conclusion one can reach as to why any politician would think it was ever a good idea.

  5. Burton C Poulsen says

    Your acticle fails to explain how the Tea Party and MoveOn or Senator DeMint and Al Gore agree. Are they all for or against ethanol in our fuel? If the Tea Party movement and Jim DeMint are pro-ethanol, I have some letters to write.

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